Over the centuries, the Middle East has held an important place in the religious consciousness of many Christians in West and East. In the nineteenth century, these interests culminated in extensive missionary work of Protestant and Roman Catholic organisations, among Eastern Christians, Muslims and Jews. The present volume, in articles written by an international group of scholars, discusses themes like the historical background of Christian geopiety among Roman Catholics and Protestants, and the internal tensions and conflicting aims of missions and missionaries, such as between nationalist and internationalist interests, between various rival organisations and between conversionalist and civilizational aims of missions in the Ottoman Empire. In a synthetic overview and a comprehensive bibliography an up-to-date introduction into this field is provided.
Heleen Murre-van den Berg is Associate Professor of the History of World Christianity at the Faculty of Theology at Leiden University (Netherlands). She published extensively on the history of Western missions in the Middle East, the modern history of the Syriac churches, especially of the Assyrian Church of the East and Neo-Aramaic linguistics, including
From a Spoken to a Written Language, The Introduction and Development of Literary Urmia Aramaic in the Nineteenth Century (Peeters, 1999).
Contributors include: Bernard Heyberger, Chantal Verdeil, Giuseppe Buffon, Anthony O’Mahony, Nancy L. Stockdale, Philippe Bourmaud, Roland Löffler, Martin Tamcke, Uwe Kaminsky, Habib Badr, Barbara J. Merguerian, Ellen Fleischmann, Umar Ry and Heleen Murre-van den Berg.
All those interested in the history of nineteenth-century missions, in the history of the Middle East, especially the late Ottoman period, in the history of the churches of the Middle East and in the relationships between Islam, Judaism and Islam.